GULF

Spy cell gave vital military data to Iran

The Criminal Court in Riyadh has sentenced 15 members of the ring to death, and jailed 15 others to prison terms ranging from six months to 25 years and acquitted two (a Saudi and an Afghan national) (File Photo: AFP)

The 32-strong Iranian spy ring supplied Tehran with 124 intelligence reports containing detailed information about vital military installations in the Kingdom and other security data.

The Criminal Court in Riyadh has sentenced 15 members of the ring to death, and jailed 15 others to prison terms ranging from six months to 25 years and acquitted two (a Saudi and an Afghan national).

The cell, which was busted late 2014 and early 2015, consisted of 30 Saudis, an Iranian and an Afghan national who was a cook at a National Guard camp.

Court sources said the cell delivered their reports to Iranian intelligence elements mostly through personal meetings with undercover diplomats in the Iranian embassy in Riyadh, its consulate in Jeddah and its permanent mission to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Jeddah.

Methods also included sending emails containing coded messages in which they were trained by Iranian intelligence elements.

The sources said the cell members held personal meetings with as many as 24 Iranian intelligence elements in and outside the kingdom.

They said the most important elements with which the cell members used to liaise were the director of the intelligence bureau in Tehran, the first secretary of the Iranian OIC mission and the director of the office of Ali Khamenei. The cell included seven Saudi military men who used to provide the Iranian intelligence elements data and photographs of the sensitive military locations, warplanes, military airports and the confidential military correspondence.

The sources said the military spies used small cameras in key rings to send photos to Tehran.

The sources also said a medical consultant at King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh used to supply Tehran with medical reports about the health condition of the late King Abdullah and his Crown Prince Naif.

(Additional editing by Al Arabiya English)

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Last Update: Tuesday, 13 December 2016 KSA 12:35 - GMT 09:35
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